Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Crowded houses

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  • Howard Edwards,

    Re landbanking - I live in Coatesville not far beyond the urban boundary (yes the rest of us are still here even though Kim.com has moved into the Viaduct Basin) and for many years now real estate agents have advertised small blocks of land around here as "Attention landbankers!", "Landbankers Ahoy!" etc. There will plenty of speculators rubbing their hands with glee at the thought of central govt clobbering the Auckland Council into abolishing the urban boundary.

    And let's not forget some of the reasons why AC is not keen on abolishing the boundary. They have little or no control over the major infrastructure required to support urban sprawl, namely better roads, improved (read: subsidised until viable) public transport links, new schools - the list goes on and on. If only local and central governments could work together for once (yeah right!)

    (Personally I would be quite happy if words such as landbanking and landbankers were banned from real estate advertising in Auckland - why pick on Wicked Campers when real estate advertising also encourages immoral behaviour?)

    Albany • Since Apr 2013 • 66 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Colonel Trotter thinks it's a wondrous policy.

    By sanctioning green-field (as opposed to brown-field) housing development, Twyford and his colleagues are now free to draw forth from Labour’s honourable past the sort of planning ideas which, had they been implemented at the time they were developed (the late-1940s) would have made Auckland a much easier city in which to live and move around.

    Seventy years on, however, with the population of Auckland approaching two million, the size of the planning canvass has expanded considerably. Looking forward, we must now envisage an urban corridor extending all the way from Hamilton to Whangarei.

    A conurbation of this size cannot be serviced efficiently by the automobile. Crucial to its success would be the creation of a state-of-the-art rapid-rail network capable of whisking commuters from Hamilton to Downtown Auckland in 30 minutes. (If that seems impossible, just have a word with the French and the Chinese!) The huge enabling power of such a network would be more than sufficient to underwrite the many housing developments along its length.

    Rather than leave the design and construction of these new communities to the private sector, Labour should promote the creation of a public design and construction entity dedicated to building homes, apartments and community facilities equal to anything currently on display in Germany and Scandinavia.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to John Farrell,

    Housing NZ is run as a business, and pays a dividend to the government. They haven't yet found a way to get dividends from WINZ.

    It just seems so stupid that people eligible for social housing are being instructed to borrow money for paying what's apparently the full commercial rate to stay at motels, before becoming liable to pay it back at their own expense, which by definition of being eligible for social housing, they already can't afford. And then, I guess, we end up creating new situations which encourage people to get themselves criminal records.

    If this shortage of social housing were being handled intelligently, motels should be competing with each other to get contracts for accommodating people, on behalf of HNZ, at substantially lower bulk rates.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Vicki Anderson has a revealing, but depressing, piece on visiting a WINZ office in Chchch.
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/opinion/77578966/joining-the-queue-at-work-and-income-where-no-one-seems-happy

    A Work and Income employee gestures to a woman to come forward. Here, in front of the rest of the queue and anyone in the waiting room, her anguish must be laid bare. Pain is the main currency on display. Leave your dignity at the guarded door.
    ...
    Later, when the woman is outside crying beside her car, I ask her if I can do anything to help her.
    "Thanks, but it's OK," she says. "I just hate going in there, it's so demeaning. I don't want to be in this position, I never imagined I would be. I have no choice but to ask them for help since my partner died. I'm bringing up our children on my own. It is what it is."

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • steven crawford,

    Just to be practical, here is what I have discovered. I once had to sleep in a car in that had lost its windscreen after a stone bounced up off the road. I went and got a cheap tarp from the warehouse to cover the car. This made the inside of the car into a privet sanctuary even when I was parked in a busy part of town.

    Another option is the humble dingy. If I find myself needing to live ruff in Auckland, my plan is to get a wooden dingy and park it upside down on the foreshore at one of the more affluent seafront suburbs. The dingy son the beach are completely normal and nobody need know somebody's got a cosy camp stretcher hidden under it.

    That of coerce is all fun and games if you like me have a home to go to when the novelty wears of. Not so funny when people start giving the disapproving eye when you or I start to look feral.

    Atlantis • Since Nov 2006 • 4327 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to izogi,

    It just seems so stupid that people eligible for social housing are being instructed to borrow money for paying what’s apparently the full commercial rate to stay at motels, before becoming liable to pay it back at their own expense, which by definition of being eligible for social housing, they already can’t afford.

    The rate quoted on Checkpoint – $1330pw – is bizarrely high. Would a motel like that earn nearly $200 a night on casual rentals? I can't imagine it. And the fact that they're contracted to W&I to provide these units on a consistent basis surely means the negotiated cost should be far lower. Can anyone explain this?

    But of course, the major problem is that this unreasonable cost is passed 100% to people in the worst possible position to pay it or carry it as a debt. No wonder the minister refused to come and discuss it on Checkpoint – especially given that on Monday John Key held out this exact same emergency provision as an example of how much the government was doing to help its citizens.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    The wee minion in the bowels of the Beehive who pushes the kill button for Natrad was at it again.

    That was weird. While I don't want to contribute to any conspiracy theory, the sound didn't cut out abruptly... it was faded out by someone. Much strangeness.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Alfie,

    It did sound weird, but it's probably a technical issue, because we also lost the beginning of Guyon's back-announce.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Alfie,

    Excellent piece in the Press by Vicki Anderson on attending WINZ humiliation meetings.

    Joining the queue at Work and Income: Where no one seems happy.

    Dunedin • Since May 2014 • 1386 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    I tried playing that a few times, but it does not work. Either my browser has a sudden issue with this audio, or it has been “neutralised” (blocked) now.

    We live in “strange times”.

    Who is that Minister for Broad-(Bored) Casting again?

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Russell Brown,

    we're from the Govt, we're here to help...

    John Key held out this exact same emergency provision as an example of how much the government was doing to help its citizens.

    No one gets ahead in a 'Company town' - next he'll be sending in the Pinkertons!

    I suspect John Key somehow read the Andrew Carnegie 'How to make friends and influence people' rather than the Dale Carnegie version...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7892 posts Report Reply

  • izogi, in reply to Russell Brown,

    The rate quoted on Checkpoint – $1330pw – is bizarrely high. Would a motel like that earn nearly $200 a night on casual rentals? I can't imagine it.

    If there ever needed to be an example of a government driving revenue to business at the ultimate expense of poor and vulnerable people, who'll eventually face the debt collectors for money they're unlikely to have, this would have to be right up there.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C,

    Today John Campbell and RNZ seem to have got more info exposing the facts that most of the debt beneficiaries owe is to Work and Income and not others!

    It seems WINZ do under this government drive people into poverty. Also did the New Zealand Herald reveal this a while back:
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11565259

    And newly obtained papers reveal, Bennett knew for a year the emergency housing sector was not functioning, and severely underfunded, and did nothing:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/304288/emergency-housing-sector-‘unaccountable’

    The sale of Housing NZ homes continues:
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/national/304291/queenstown-state-house-auctioned-for-$665k

    According to MSD there is no need for emergency housing in Queenstown.

    Silence on all this from Paula, what's her name again?!

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Marc C,

    And newly obtained papers reveal, Bennett knew for a year the emergency housing sector was not functioning, and severely underfunded, and did nothing:

    Bennett and Bill English. We don't know that they actually did nothing, but what they have been doing is starting to look like a policy fuckup of generational proportions.

    It really is starting to seem that bad.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Marc C,

    ‘unaccountable’

    Also "incoherent" and "unfair".

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22756 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Russell, I do also sense this is a "game changer" of sorts in the wider media now, something that "dirty politics" could never achieve. The times they are a changing. The shit has started hitting the fan, and nobody in government can hide anymore, but they are nowhere to be heard and seen. It is a public relations disaster they never expected.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX,

    I agree with the Greens – jumping on the bandwagon – Things can be done about the crisis created by the economic and policy settings pursued by this govt that favours wealthy migrants over the people that live and work here.

    The State House next to my Mum’s place sat vacant for well over three or maybe even four years before it was removed and the land sold to developers who are only just now building on it having sold two dwellings off the plans.

    Have we finally reached the point where the policy vacuum/omission/doing nothing has become enough is enough?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/80163373/Housing-NZ-should-keep-118m-dividend-build-450-new-state-homes-Greens

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • DexterX, in reply to Russell Brown,

    It really is starting to seem that bad.

    "seems bad" or is a "disaster" depending on where you sleep - in or out of doors.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 1224 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Marc C,

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • John Farrell, in reply to Marc C,

    The hardcore Key supporters see homeless people as a reason to scoff. Read the trademe messageboard, to get the flavour.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 487 posts Report Reply

  • izogi,

    Also in this day and age, many people simply don't get their coverage from the same traditional sources. There's so much more choice when looking for excuses to justify what's already believed.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 1139 posts Report Reply

  • Rosemary McDonald, in reply to Russell Brown,

    like a policy fuckup of generational proportions.

    Ditto, it seems, in Queenstown.

    Queenstown Lakes Community Housing Trust 2016 renters' survey, in which 92 per cent of renters said housing affordability was a barrier to their long-term commitment to the area.
    The full results were published yesterday.
    Problems highlighted include crammed houses, bad insulation, cut-throat landlords and fierce competition for accommodation.
    "We are living in a truck," one renter says. "We couldn't find anywhere to rent that would let you have pets and that we could afford. Winter is coming and I have 3-year-old twin boys."
    Another says: "I am homeless at 65."
    One employer says their staff are living in cars.

    "Queenstown rental prices are out of control. I pay $610 a week for an uninsulated, single-glazed, wooden house which is FREEZING in winter."

    ...rent has increased by $160 a week in less than a year, adding: "We now pay $700 a week for a freezing cold house."

    One business's human resource manager says: "I am nervous about offering employment to anyone who hasn't already secured accommodation in Queenstown."
    Several people say they are moving from the resort.
    "Can't afford it anymore," says a person who lived in the town for 15 years.
    A 76-year-old says they've given up their home to the local council.
    "I could not afford to buy another property in Queenstown."

    The less-than-rich at both ends of the age scale are being pushed out of town....

    Hah! But according to the local real estate agents...the fact that,

    Queenstown's seasonal population results in high rental demand and, with the creation of many new jobs over the past year, the rental shortage has reached a crisis.

    ...makes them

    believe Queenstown has all the key factors for property investment.

    Just wait until the rich pricks in both towns need some low wage worker to clean the shit off their toilets.....

    Waikato, or on the road • Since Apr 2014 • 1344 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    So Mr Goof is neither here nor there, as usual, and all this may have been a bit of a "slip up" by Phil the Twyford, who may have rushed ahead with some thoughts, he may now regret?

    What a shocking situation. Thanks for that link, at least that worked.

    Credits to Guyon, he is doing a good job, but that is not hard with Paul Henry on TV3 and the other gigglers on TVNZ in the morning.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Marc C, in reply to Rosemary McDonald,

    This was totally predictable, years ago, with John Key and his government setting the perfect investment environment for wealthy "investors" and immigrants to come here, buy into real estate and business, and turn many local residents into nothing else but tenants in their own country.

    Once upon a time it was only Maori who felt like being taken over and invaded, now it is wider New Zealand, white, brown, whatever their colour, but it tends to hit the ones at the very bottom first and harder than the rest, as usual.

    Akl • Since Oct 2012 • 437 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    the fact that they're contracted to W&I to provide these units on a consistent basis surely means the negotiated cost should be far lower. Can anyone explain this?

    Work and Income are piss-poor negotiators, just like the current cabinet?

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19688 posts Report Reply

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